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Bury St Edmunds All-Through STEM Academy - backed by Rolls-Royce - gets government funding for new-build school

PUBLISHED: 12:27 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 24 February 2017

Stock image of students studying Science,Technology, Engineering and Maths. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Stock image of students studying Science,Technology, Engineering and Maths. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A groundbreaking high school in Bury St Edmunds, which hopes to help foster the scientists and engineers of the future, has been given government funding.

County Upper School headteacher Vicky Neale. Picture: GREGG BROWNCounty Upper School headteacher Vicky Neale. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Department for Education has given the go-ahead for the construction of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) school for 13 to 18-year-olds.

The new free school will open in September 2019 and will be run by the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust on its Westley Middle School campus at Oliver Road.

Lead headteacher in the trust, Vicky Neale, said: “We are delighted that the STEM Academy will open in a brand new building, specially designed to teach our highly innovative curriculum.

“This is a very exciting time for the trust and we are all confident that many students will benefit from having a choice of pathway from age 13.”

The plans include a new sports hall, which will be shared by pupils in the trust’s Bury-based middle schools.

The STEM academy forms part of the All-Through Trust’s group of three-tier schools – alongside County Upper, Westley Middle, Horringer Court Middle, Barrow Primary and Tollgate Primary schools.

Mrs Neale has spoken passionately about how the current schooling system can force pupils down a path of learning which does not suit them. She hopes the STEM school will cater for pupils who benefit from a more vocational style of learning.

Pupils are not constrained to one upper school – if they decide County Upper’s academic approach may be more suited or vice versa, they can move between the schools before their GCSEs or at sixth form level.

Ahead of the opening in 2019, the trust is planning to pilot aspects of the STEM provision at County Upper School.

The academy is supported by seventeen international companies with local bases as well as the University of East Anglia. The companies include BT and Rolls-Royce.

Nicola Swaney, education manager at Rolls-Royce, said: “We are delighted to hear about the new build to accommodate the Bury All-Through Trust’s STEM Academy. Rolls-Royce has maintained links with the trust following its success as finalists in our Science Prize in 2015 and fully supports this important provision.”

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